What I Ate on Wednesday (18) WIAW

WIAW is the perfect chance for me to test out my new Canon EOS 1100 / Canon Rebel T3 one of the most affordable DSLRs on the market. The previous camera I used was actually my mum’s and beginning this year, she has to bring it to work everyday so I figured its time to get my own.

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But no, I didn’t eat much veggies.

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A typical Singapore breakfast of fried rice noodles and yellow noodles, topped with complementary veggies and eggs.

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3 mini  toblerone dark chocolate bars and a white bean bun to satify my sweet tooth. My brother bought them but absolutely hated their taste. Now they’re mine.

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Rice with stir fried cabbage, stir fried heng cai and fried pork with potatoes.

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Cleaned Egg Shells

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My SGD$10 watch

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My mum’s notes

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These photographs definitely took less time to edit!

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Before and after

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A lot of work goes into my ‘photography’.

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Chinese Glutinous Rice Balls

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Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cake

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Insanely Cookied Tart for the ‘Cookie-holic’

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Low Fat Yellow Cake with Sesame Soy Cream

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Tiramisu for 2

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Melt-in-the-mouth Pineapple Tarts 

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Dobostorte

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There are worse. The same problems (dark, too yellowish, insufficient tint, blur images,…) are relevant to practically every picture.

But from tomorrow onward, all will (hopefully) be different. Less tedious editing, here I come!

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Death Happens

On  25 February 2012 today, my cousin in Taiwan passed away from heart complications as a result taking drugs (bad kind). I know that God will receive this son who never got the chance to know Him and take care of him from this day after. 

May the cousin who always doted on us his younger ‘brothers and sisters’ and loved his family no matter how sick he was feeling rest in peace. We will always love and remember him.

More on this later. 

picture courtesy of  jennajankk

Dobostorte

Its the most difficult thing I’ve ever created in my life. 

Even making the flying rocket made of soda bottles was less of a challenge. 

I mean, how easy is a cake that requires

 creaming and the separation of egg yolks and whites, and the beating of 150g of egg whites to soft peaks??!! And making praline paste without a food processor? It was hard. 

Dobostorte, in the match between you and me, you win. Even if I did manage to construct you. 

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My version of Dobostorte is has an additional tinge of matcha, creating a playful dance of flavours on your tongue. Its only healthy if you spit-eat it and that’s crazy and gross; don’t do it. Have a small slice or something. Its incredibly filling.

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Click picture to enlarge.

MUST READ: Additional recipe notes

  • For my matcha-infused version, brush the following matcha syrup over each face of the cake pieces before assembling. Its from Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings.

1/ matcha powder

60g water

40g caster sugar

Combine all ingredients and heat in saucepan until sugar and matcha powder have dissolved completely. Set aside and leave to cool. Soak lightly the bottom-most and top-most cakes on only one side, and the other 3 on both sides.

  • You need not get rid of all the praline chunks in the praline paste for this recipe. In fact, the cake will taste better with small chunks of crunchy praline in the mousse butter cream!
  • Remember to make sure gelatin is fully dissolved before proceeding with step 2. 
  • Place cake in freezer to keep. The cake will NOT freeze due to high fat content. Serve straight from freezer.
  • Refrigerate mousse butter cream for at least 1/2 hour before use.
  • Cake melts easily at room temperature. Do not leave at room temperature for more than 10 minutes. 
  • You may use 200g of vegetable shortening (room temperature) instead of butter for mousse butter cream in step 4.

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That’s it! Take note of all these and your cake will (hopefully) be fine!

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photographs updated!

Matcha Black Sesame Entremet with White Sesame Nougatine

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I think you know.

I’m not trying to say you can read my mind– cus you can’t… right?

But if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve met the worst educators that exist on this planet. People who packed their hearts AND conscience (if they even had any to begin with) into a triple sealed box, wrapped the box tightly with layers of foam (totally unneeded if you ask me), then placed the entire thing into a sturdy, permanently sealed metal container AND SHIPPED IT OFF TO OUTER SPACE. In short, cruel, heartless people in case you failed to get my perfectly apt analogy.

Teachers who let you sacrifice good grades to improve their own (yes, teachers too are graded). The cash bought their damn conscience I say!

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How to be an absolutely horrific teacher:

  • turn an entire class against one student
  • feign ignorance when seeing a student get bullied
  • ask a student to do tons of work for another’s portfolio, to another’s credit… while continuing to expect more from the former
  • i.e. executing favouritism to the extreme
  • take photographs of handcuffed student just before he is carted away by police
  • Spray students with air freshener for ‘smelling of curry’ (okay, you’ve got to laugh at this… unless you feel offended, then I’m sorry :-()
  • mock students’ mistakes with absolute determination to welcome collective mocking
  • Attach McDonald’s job applications to failed tests (I’m sorry I laughed. It’s really NOT funny.)
  • not apologise when you make terrible, unforgivable mistakes. That’s setting a bad example.
  • BE EVIL AND SCHEMING.

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I have a lot against bad teachers. They don’t belong in STOMP, they belong in The freakin’ Straits Times where stories of them almost never get published. There are psychological tests for Taxi drivers and none to pick out to-be monster teachers???!!! What’s up with this world??

But I’ve also met a couple pretty amazing ones. And they don’t belong in this post. Because they keep their hearts and consciences attached to their body. Unlike some people…

People from the Ministry of Education, you’re welcome to email me for the names of the horrific teachers and their heartless deeds. Not that I expect you to. Because you won’t. :/

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This recipe is completely inspired by Evan’s Kitchen ramblings, one of the most visually appealing blogs, made more awesome by Evan’s generosity in providing recipes. Evan’s recipe for Matcha Black Sesame Entremet can be found here.

I’ve been meaning to make something different from what I usually do. To challenge myself with an entremet.

According to Stick of A Chef,

Within the pastry world, an entremet is typically a multi-layered mousse-based cake comprising of different complementary flavors with varying textural contrasts. A well executed entremet should adhere to the basic principles of visual appeal, textural contrast, and, of course, taste. The beauty of entremets comes from the myriad of shapes it can take on (round, pyramid, rectangular, hexagonal, teardrop, dome shapes) and the abundance of colours within the multi-layer attributes of this mousse cake. The taste receptor should be challenged as well with different combinations of taste sensations like salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

Conceiving a well constructed and well balanced tasting entremet lies in it the way each flavor component is assembled and complements each other.Within an entremet, it is typical to have three or four different complementary component flavors of varying textural contrasts.To the uninitiated, an entremet may seem like a lot of work that is very difficult to produce but in actual fact, making entremets are easy if you approach it in a step by step fashion.

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It was 100 times easier than I expected. Simply said, the sponge cake was the hardest part of the recipe.

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From this experience, I learnt:

1. Whipping cream is magical!! After whipping for a moment or two, the liquidy cream zaps into a more solid form, that’s spreadable like soft butter. Totally cool.

2. Baking full fat is much easier than baking low fat.

3. The addition of butter to sponge cake changes the texture of the sponge cake completely! But I still I prefer the butterless sponge cake. Its much more moist and soft.

4. Gelatin = magic. But gelatin ≈ cow’s skin = much disgust + uneasiness.

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I found this brilliant lower fat version of whipped cream that is miraculously more affordable that regular whipped cream. It worked perfectly in this recipe! 

Do try it if you get the chance!

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Chocolate Glacage is adapted from: http://www.worldchocolatemasters.com/en/763 

Matcha sugar syrup, matcha mousse and sponge cake are from: http://bossacafez.blogspot.com/2010/09/matcha-black-sesame.html 

Black sesame mousse and white seame nougatine are adapted from: http://mushitza.blogspot.com/2011/01/matcha-black-sesame-entrement.html

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Click here for larger version.

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Qi Ting says ‘bye’. 

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Inside Out Blondie Tart Cake for 2 (Vegan and Whole Wheat)

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Qiting asks herself some questions about shopping for clothes and related boring accessories to fill up the gap between the top of the page and the recipe

Interviewer: Is shopping for clothes considered a hobby?

QT: More like torture.

So I assume you won’t join your friend(s) when they/she want(s) you to accompany them in said activity?

Not unless I really really really really really like them enough to know I won’t hate them after they mentally torture me with the sight of a room filled with, gasp, only clothes!

Do you go shopping with your mom?

Sure, I wait outside the shop while she enters.

You’re a lousy daughter.

I’m sure you don’t mean that.

I do.

Well, I don’t care what you think. Its a free country!

Not exactly, Singapore has tons of rules and stuff.

Weren’t you asking me about my lack of interest in clothes-shopping? When did we decide to switch the subject to the allowance of free speech in this tiny island which is not exactly the food paradise people speak of because its a lie ’cause Taiwan has food a million times better? You! You inattentive, over-inquisitive, unprofessional weirdo who’s supposed to be interviewing me!

Whatever. So, clothes! Do you only hate shopping for them or do you simply hate them?

Are you unobservant or simply ignorant?

You’ve insulted me enough. I can’t handle this anymore.

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Interview ends after the two rip off each other’s hair… you know I’m talking about the ones on the head don’t you?

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I remade a blondie.

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Now it has an Oreo tart crust stuffed in it.

Because the blondie ate oreos HA! 

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The recipe for blondies is adapted from The Allergic Kid.

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Click here for larger version.

For vegan version, use Tofutti Cream Cheese and prepared vegan pudding (like this one: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/vanillapudding.htm)

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Since its for 2, you can share it or you can just have it all yourself. 

Please excuse my tragic inability to correct these annoyingly saturated photographs the horror of a camera once again rewarded my hard work with. No ‘P.S.’ because it is telling.

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Please tell me that at least one person out there shares my detest for clothes-shopping…

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Guest Post: Counterfeit Chocolate Cake Balls (Vegan)

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I really get you.

I know your heart.

I read your mind.

I recognise your innermost desires. 

Alright, I lied. I’m no mind reader but I guess that you’re probably sick of my ridiculous sarcasm, limited vocabulary and dry sense of humour. And I apologise, alright? 

I’m sorry. 

So I got someone more interesting than I am to write today’s post. 

Like me, Madison creates healthier versions of classic desserts. And she’s darn good. I mean, who can give you a recipe for healthy Mexican wedding cookies??? You can find it here. Thank her later. Or now. 

Please welcome her! 

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Hi everyone! My name is Madison and I write about my healthy baking adventures over at a little blog called Peanut Butter Lover. First I want to start off by thanking Qi Ting for allowing me to write a guest post in her lovely world of desserts! All of her recipes are so tasty and more than once have been the inspiration behind some of my experiments in the kitchen.

 

This is Madison!


In the past, I have struggled with my eating like many other fellow health food bloggers. Then one day I realized that I can still bake and eat healthy at the same time. Actually, it’s better that way! You see, instead of relying on packages to tell me what is in the food I eat, I get to decide what goes into my body.

There have been many ups and downs with my eating since then. Days of binging, days of restriction, but along the way I have come to find that nobody is perfect. While my body is made up in an exact science, it doesn’t take a scientist to fuel it properly. As long as I attempt to choose whole foods to fuel me and as long as I make good choices most of the time, I’m good.

However, since I do try to restrict myself from eating “bad” foods, I sometimes crave those old processed snacks that I’ve done away with. This is also where baking comes into play. My goal in the kitchen is to make healthy recipes that sustain my cravings. In no way do all of my recipes taste “exactly” like their unhealthy counterparts, but for the most part they do a pretty dang good job.

My inspiration in the kitchen comes from all places under the sun: cooking shows, my grandmas who love to bake, cookbooks, old family recipes, and of course- food blogs.

The recipe I am going to share with you today was actually created over a year ago after I stumbled across an online recipe for chocolate black bean brownies.

 

Christmas break had just begun and my mom, being a middle school teacher, had brought home sweet treats from her students. A dessert-lover’s heaven.

Among the boxes of confections were chocolate chip cookies, chocolate turtles and … chocolate cake balls.

This was my first experience with cake balls and it was love at first “bite.” If you don’t know what cake balls are, let me give you the 411- These decadent balls are made by mixing crumbled cake pieces with frosting and forming them into balls. Then the balls are coated with a layer of chocolate and frozen to perfection.

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My mom was trying to make them last though, so I decided to make my own to keep all for myself. They turned out great, but after indulging in one too many; I realized that cake balls were definitely not part of a healthy diet.

And that’s when I remembered that black bean brownie recipe. You could say that a lightning bolt had struck my brain at this point, and in a flash of inspiration I set to work in my kitchen to make a tasty, but healthy “cake ball.”

What I came up with is not overly sweet, but rich, moist and a chocolate lover’s dream. Oh, and did I mention that it contains no added sugar whatsoever? Well then, by all means, here’s the recipe that will knock your socks off:

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Counterfeit Chocolate Cake Balls 


No. of servings: Makes 16 to 20

Calories: About 55 calories each (With 18 cake balls)

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

1 small, ripe banana, mashed (approximately )

½ cup dates

¼ cup egg beaters

1 can black beans, drained (or about 1 ½ cups)

8 Tbsp cocoa powder

Splash vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

*Additional ingredients needed in step 8 of the directions

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Directions

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees/180C.

2.      Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with mashed banana. Microwave for 2 minutes on medium. (This replicates soaking dates which takes several hours!)

3.      Place the soaked dates, banana and egg beaters in a food processor and blend until smooth.

4.      Then add the beans by a ½ cup, processing as you go along until completely combined.

5.      Add remaining ingredients and combine.

6.      Spray an 8×8 glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and spread the brownie batter evenly into the pan.

7.      Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

8.      When the brownies are baking, make the Banana Chocolate “Frosting.” To make the “frosting,” combine two large bananas (about ) with of cocoa powder in a food processor until smooth.

9.      When brownies are done, let cool.

10.  How to assemble the cake balls: Crumble half of the black bean brownies into a bowl. In the same bowl place 1/3 of the “frosting” and mix together. Then, form 16 to 20 balls out of the mixture and place on a sprayed lid/cookie sheet. Freeze for an hour. Remove when frozen and coat with remaining “frosting.” Freeze until solid. Thaw for a few minutes and enjoy!

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Thanks again to Qi Ting for letting me do this guest post on her blog. It was a little late in coming, but I enjoyed writing this so much!

Please come visit my blog, check out my recent posts and my About Me page. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and I love meeting fellow foodies!

 

Madison @ Peanut Butter Lover

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Thank YOU, Madison!! Remember to hop over to Madison’s. Right now. 😀

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